Posts tagged ‘strawberry’
Strawberry season was a glorious one this year, starting early and lasting a long time. From the very first quart of local strawberries I saw – or rather smelled – in early May, I vowed to savor them more than ever. Somehow that sweet ripe fragrance got in my nose and stayed there, keeping the craving constant for these morsels of juicy ruby heaven. I never did get my fill, even after more than a dozen quarts!
While it was a bit expensive buying my strawberries from fellow vendors at the farmers market, I felt it was a worthwhile indulgence for fresh eating, particularly after a long hot day of selling my flowers. I wasn’t quite willing to fork over more than $6 a quart (really) to make my annual stash of strawberry jam though so I wait until I visited my parents in rural central Pennsylvania to stop by a nearby produce farm that had generous quarts of super-ripe berries for a mere three bucks. I greedily grabbed five quarts, though only four somehow ended up in Philly after the three hour drive back. Musta been a hole in the car console or maybe a stow away squirrel on board…
In any case, to send off strawberry season in style, I made a luscious batch of jam scented with a vanilla bean and cooked to a perfect consistency. Jam making really is quite easy, especially when you have a simple recipe that doesn’t require that dreaded pack of pectin that never seems to be on city store shelves. If you haven’t tried making your own homemade jam or jelly before (by the way, jam in chunky, jelly is strained to be smooth), this is the perfect one to try since it’s really very simple. The only trick to making sure the jam thickens is to let it boil vigorously, which means you’ll be needing a very large pot to keep it from spilling over and making a mess of your stove.
Slathered on a fresh thick slice of bread from a loaf given to me by another farmers market vendor, I decided strawberry season wasn’t really ending after all. This jam is so full of fresh berry flavor, I’ll feel like I’m eating a ripe strawberry when I crack open a jar in December.